Mushroom Barley Soup

More than a soup, this is a meal in itself—flavorful, filling, and nutrient-dense.

Mushrooms contain many disease fighting compounds.  Mushrooms and greens (spinach, kale, etc) together makes a powerful immune booster combination

[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”full” source_author=”Joel Fuhrman, MD” source_title=”Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Natural Defenses” full_quote=”Mushrooms contain many unusual disease-fighting compounds that are just beginning to be understood. These immune-supporting ingredients empower the body to react quickly and powerfully when we are exposed to disease-causing pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Mushroom phytochemicals may even be helpful for autoimmune-diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus because of their anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects.” short_quote=”Mushrooms contain many unusual disease-fighting compounds”]

The aroma of mushrooms and onions, the comfort of a pot simmering with healthy goodness on the stove, cupping my cold hands around a hot bowl and savoring the hearty soup with its chewy barley and harmony of vegetables…this is one of my favorite winter meals.


  • Leeks instead of onions
  • Add 1 cup white beans, cooked or canned
  • Add 2 cups spinach or chopped kale
  • Add 1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs before serving (basil, dill, cilantro are some of my favorites
  • Add 8 oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Serve it with a nutrient-dense leafy green salad like Kale, Apple and Cranberry Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms and New Potatoes

Something magical happens in roasting vegetables, imbuing them with an aromatic flavors and softened luscious textures. This seems especially true for Brussels sprouts. Many a person who vowed not to like Brussels sprouts has been surprised into enjoying this dish.

This blend of vegetables is not only richly flavorful, it packs a mighty nutritional boost. Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and onions are GBOMBS – a group of the most nutrient-dense, healthy promoting foods on the planet.

[su_expanding_quote_book source_author=”Joel Fuhrman, MD” source_title=”Super Immunity” full_quote=”Certain plant foods contain significant amounts of substances that enhance human immune function and defenses against acute illness and chronic disease…Cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts) are twice as powerful as other plant foods. A 20% increase in cruciferous vegetables intake corresponds to a 40% decrease in cancer rates…Mushrooms contain many unusual disease-fighting compounds that empower the body to react quickly and powerfully when we are exposed to viruses and bacteria.…Compounds in the onions have anti-inflammatory actions that protect against osteoarthritis and ward off infections.” short_quote=”Certain plant foods contain significant amounts of substances that enhance human immune function”]


  • Use 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary instead of thyme and mix in as indicated
  • Use 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes instead of herbs
  • After roasting, add 1/2 cup finely chopped mint or parsley – or a combination of both


Serving suggestions

  • For a vegan meal, serve with a quinoa pilaf with cranberries and toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecan etc) and a leafy green salad.
  • For a special dinner, serve with Baked Salmon with Cranberry Thyme Crust or Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Pork (if you choose this option, make the Brussels Sprouts dish with mint or parsley instead of rosemary) and a Spinach and Orange Salad.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

[su_expanding_quote alignment=”right” source_author=”Joel Fuhrman, M.D.” source_title=”Super Immunity” affiliate_link=” come” full_quote=”Consuming mushrooms regularly has been associated with decreased risk of breast, stomach and colorectal cancers…mushrooms stimulate the immune system, prevent DNA damage, slow cancer cell growth.” short_quote=”Consuming mushrooms regularly has been associated with decreased risk of cancers”]

Mushrooms evoke an almost-forgotten childhood memory of tromping through a forest in Austria with my grandfather, breathing in the aroma of wet earth. He had an amazing knowledge, honed through severe hunger having lived through World Wars I and II, not only of mushrooms, but all edible forest plants. Taking those mushrooms into the kitchen to sauté with a little bit of butter made for heavenly bites that I can still savor.